The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Christmas Eve’

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

There was a light dusting of snow on the ground on Christmas Eve morning. That was the extent of our White Christmas, as the temperature for both Christmas Eve and Christmas were well above freezing. It also rained on Christmas Eve for most of the day.

Our Christmas Tree

Sometime after I took this picture the pre-lit lights on the top half of our 4-foot Christmas tree stopped working. There didn’t appear to be any reason for the bulbs not to work. The fuse was good. Bob checked individual bulbs, as best as he could, for any bad bulbs or bulbs not seated properly. On Christmas Eve day we took off the ornaments on the top half of our Christmas tree, and Bob pulled the top half of the tree from the base.  He still wasn’t able to figure out why the bulbs wouldn’t light on the top half of the tree.  We removed the light string completely from the top of the tree.  He inserted a bulb contained in a plastic bag fastened to the string of lights. That bulb blew out immediately! It was then that Bob decided to remove the bottom string of lights as well.  Afterward we put the ornaments on the Christmas tree and placed it back on the end table in front of the living room windows.  So, on Christmas Eve, the only light on the Christmas tree was the star at the very top of the tree.  We will buy strings of lights, or possibly a new Christmas tree, next year.

We spent a few daytime hours on Christmas Eve with Stacey and our granddaughters at their home in Oil City, PA.  

Harper and Juniper had spent the previous night at “Big Grandma” Chris and Jay’s house.  We picked up the girls there at 1:00 pm.  The four of us arrived in Oil City around 2:00 pm.  We kept the visit casual.   For food we snacked on pizza, chicken wing dip and chips, breaded mozzarella cheese sticks, and beef franks in a blanket.   We exchanged gifts with each other.

Our granddaughters liked their Triceratops and Brontosaurus night lights. The soft silicone night lights change between a variety of colors
and giggle when they are touched.

Sometime after our gift exchange, Juniper asked if I wanted to go outside and watch her hit a ball. That activity allowed us to talk about sports. I asked Juniper if she would be interested in playing ball at school. Juniper said no, that she likes to come home from school immediately.

I LOVE this picture of our granddaughters and me!
Stacey, our granddaughters, Bob and I on Christmas Eve day

Stacey and the girls baked Peanut Butter Kiss cookies. We took home a dozen cookies, which we ate in their entirety before the end of the day. It is a good thing we opted to take only a dozen cookies! We left for home around 4:30 pm. We enjoyed our visit with Stacey and our granddaughters very much.

Bob and I spent Christmas, just the two of us. We liked the Christmas gifts that we got from each other.  I gave Bob a golf club and a gift card for a local golf course, baking utensils for his pizza oven, and a Type C Micro SD card reader.  Bob gave me a hardback copy of The Bowser Family History, a Ninja smoothie maker, USB flash drives with a carrying case, and a battery backup for my electronic devices.

For Christmas dinner Bob prepared a spatchcocked turkey that he grilled on the pellet grill. 

Bob splatcocked a turkey for our Christmas dinner.

The turkey was delicious!  Accompanying the turkey was mashed potatoes, stuffing, broccoli and cauliflower, and cranberry sauce. 

For dessert we each had a slice of the frozen peanut pie that
“Big Grandma” Chris had brought to us the other day.  

It was a quiet, but nice, Christmas. We didn’t mind spending the day just the two of us.

I hope all of my readers had as good a Christmas as we did.

Merry Christmas

It is the morning of Christmas Eve. We have a White Christmas Eve morning, as there is a light dusting of snow on the ground. It doesn’t appear that we will have a White Christmas, as the weather forecast calls for rain and temperatures well above freezing today and tomorrow.

From Bob and me
Merry Christmas to all of my blogging friends

Christmas Eve Day Activities

 

This past Sunday afternoon my friend Skye posted on her Facebook page the picture displayed above. Skye wrote that she saw this picture hanging on the wall at Applebee’s in Warren. She wondered if anyone knew the location of the foot bridge shown in the picture. It didn’t take long until one of Skye’s friends answered her question by sharing a waymarking link.   The foot bridge was located at nearby Chapman State Park.  I did a little more research and ascertained that the Lowlands Trail would take us across the foot bridge.

Bob and I went for a drive on Christmas Eve day, with the express purpose of finding the foot bridge shown in Skye’s picture. From Warren, PA we took U.S. Route 6 south for about 5 miles turning right (west) onto Chapman Dam Road. We followed this road to Chapman State Park. The Lowlands Trail may be accessed from either side of Chapman Lake, at the end of the roads. We accessed the trail from the north side, as the campground road was closed for Winter. From the north side, access is along a dirt road.  We parked the car in the last parking lot.  The dirt road was very muddy from a recent rainfall.  We walked along the muddy dirt road to the trail head.  Thankfully, it was a short walk from the parking lot to the trail head.  The trail to the foot bridge was short as well.

Lowlands Trail

Tionesta Creek

The Lowlands Trail runs between the State Game Lands service road (the muddy dirt road at the north side of Chapman Lake) and the railroad grade running from the Chapman State Park campground through the State Game Lands. It is an easy trail across a foot bridge over the West Branch of Tionesta Creek, in and through a wetland area above the lake. The trail is a recommended way for hikers wanting to get from one side of Chapman Lake to the other.

The foot bridge is a suspension bridge, and there is a pronounced swing while crossing the bridge.

Bob walking across the foot bridge.

 

Chapman State Park is so near to us, but we have not explored much there.  This was the first time that either Bob or I have seen this foot bridge.

After taking a few pictures, we returned to our car.  We drove to the other side of Chapman Lake and parked in the parking lot closest to the campground entrance.

Bob is checking out the GPS on his mobile phone, trying to determine how far away the foot bridge is from this location.  He said that we were about half way around the lake, so the foot bridge is probably a mile from this location.

I would like to walk around Chapman Lake one day.  When I was researching how to reach the foot bridge, I learned that there is a trail around the entire circumference of the lake.  The trail is 4 miles in length.

I took a few more pictures of Chapman Lake, near where Bob sat.

 

 

 

The Canadian Geese appeared to be enjoying the unseasonably warm Winter weather too.

I handed the camera to Bob, and he took this picture of me.

Behind me is the north end of Chapman Lake, near where we parked before walking that muddy dirt road to the Lowlands Trail.

Before leaving Chapman State Park, I took one more picture.

This is the Chapman Lake Spillway.

Leaving Chapman State Park, we followed Forest Road 437 to Pleasant Drive. We had been on Forest road for only a short distance, when we saw two deer standing in the woods.

I managed to take one picture of the deer,
before they walked deeper into the woods and out of sight.

I exchanged camera lens, my 40-150mm lens for the 12-40mm lens, before continuing our drive. We hoped to see other wildlife along the way, but we didn’t.

 

Before returning home, we stopped at Slagle’s Speed and Sport.  Our friend, Paul, wrote on Facebook: “Christmas Eve Day: Debbie, Shawn, and I will be at our shop until at least 3pm. If you’re in the North Warren area stop by and see us.” We stopped by to see Debbie, Shawn and Paul around 2:30pm. We were happy to find other friends there as well!

We spent an hour visiting with Debbie, Paul and Shawn; John and Carol; Mark; and John and Renate. Paul invited everyone to join Debbie and him at their house for a backyard fire.  What strange weather for Christmas!  We have no snow and the temperature is unseasonably warm.  Imagine being able to have a backyard fire on Christmas Eve in northwest Pennsylvania!  Bob and I didn’t join Paul and Debbie for the backyard fire at their house.  We will, though, see them and other friends on Sunday when we meet for dinner at a restaurant in Findley Lake, NY.

 

Christmas Eve with Friends

Bob and I spent Christmas Eve with friends at their house. We arrived at Bob and Kris’s house around 5:00 PM. Shortly after our arrival we sat down to a delicious dinner that included spiral ham, scalloped potatoes, Italian meatballs and Rigatoni, shrimp cocktail and various desserts.

Christmas Eve dinner was plentiful and delicious.

Throughout the evening we enjoyed good conversation and lots of laughs. I particularly enjoyed sharing stories of grade school and high school capers.

Our friends
Bob and Kris and their sons, Zach and Blaine

 

Our friends have two dogs, Megan and Rocco. Rocco is a recent addition to the family. He is a rumbustious dog. Megan is more docile but can be mischievous. Rocco goes nuts if he cannot find his favorite toy (a bone). Megan hid the bone one day. Our friends looked high and low for that bone but came up empty. About 24 hours later Kris heard a plop behind her. When she turned around there was Megan with Rocco’s bone lying in front of her.

Megan
Zach and Rocco in the background

Rocco saying to me “What?”

Megan and Rocco

Blaine telling Rocco what a good boy he is.

Rocco and his bone

Rocco tossed the bone over his back.

Thank you, Kris and Bob, for inviting us to your house. We enjoyed spending Christmas Eve with you and your family.

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